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The 27th Kingdom
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The 27th Kingdom is as mystical as it is malicious, a dark, surreal comedy about secrecy and self-deception. Chelsea, circa 1954, has its fair share of chatty bohemians, and Dancing Master House is positively overflowing with them. Its principal inhabitants are Aunt Irene, who fancies herself a "patron of the astonishing" and has a great fondness for horsemeat, and her vile nephew. Kyril is annoyingly handsome and has an entirely bad character. When a beautiful, black, and almost entirely silent postulant arrives for a brief stay, she quietly throws a theological spanner into the works--exposing and yet somehow protecting the two, and several other Londoners, from their worldly problems. Valentine doesn't so much need to test her vocation as to quell her miracle-working tendencies. At least according to the Mother Superior of her Welsh convent, who happens to be Aunt Irene's sister. Can this "vivid and alien" being, however, save Aunt Irene from a showdown with the taxman (who may be someone else entirely)? In the meantime, will Kyril manage to seduce her? And will Focus, the house's pillowy Persian, ever get near the rat that's been taunting him? Pleasingly, this pussycat has more insight than most of Ellis's humans, particularly when it comes to Aunt Irene's human kitten:
He'd morosely witnessed Kyril's numberless conquests, comparing him with the neighbourhood's dominant tom, a scratty looking object who stalked Cheyne Row. Focus had been made a eunuch for the sake of the sweetness of the air in Dancing Master House. He was glad, because it enabled him to take a removed and measured view of affairs--human, feline and, indeed, divine.As she moves among her main characters, and as things go from mad to worse, Ellis constructs a fractured fable of good and evil. Not that she's interested in whacking us over the head. After all, as Aunt Irene's sister puts it: "How the vulgar loved portents, prodigies and the untoward. Only the religious knew how embarrassing they could be--and quite beside the point." This 1982 novel may not be as elegant as some of Ellis's other books. On the other hand, it's hard to resist a knowing, noisy exploration of the perfections of silence and the mysteries of belief. --Kerry Fried From the Publisher:
Nominated for The Booker Prize when first published in 1982, this is a funny, eerie, surprising tale, set in London’s Chelsea and featuring an array of eccentric characters who encounter everyday situations that are suffused with otherworldly associations. With a new Afterword by James Mustich, Jr.
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Book Description Duckworth, London, United Kingdom, 1987. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. Second British printing, 1987. With original unclipped jacket (£9.95). Jacket has minor patchy edge/shelf wear, a little browning to spine, minor pushing to head/tail of spine and to corners and a little dustiness/foxing/browning to top edge of reverse (white side). Boards are near fine with a hint of pushing to a couple of corners and a little pushing/rubbing to head/tail of spine. Pages are generally clean and the binding is tight. Page edges slightly tanned. Top of pages little dusty with mild foxing. No other faults. All books described honestly and accurately. Paypal accepted. Seller Inventory # 004139
Book Description Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd, 1982. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. Octavo. Blue cloth. Fine except for bump to corner. Dustwrapper complete though some light wear to edges. Seller Inventory # 034091
Book Description Duckworth, London, 1982. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition. Moderate library markings, minor wear. Intact well protected dust jacket. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Seller Inventory # 015389
Book Description Duckworth, 1982. Hard Cover. Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good -. First Edition. Usual library markings. Jacket protected in plastic sleeve. Ex-Library. Seller Inventory # 041880
Book Description Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd, 1982. Condition: Fair. This is an ex-library book and may have the usual library/used-book markings inside.This book has hardback covers. In fair condition, suitable as a study copy. Dust Jacket in fair condition. Seller Inventory # 4533138
Book Description Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd, 1982. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd, London, 1982. UK first edition of this uncommon Booker short-listed novel. The book appears unread. DJ has some toning and a small bump to spine bottom. No internal markings. Book. Seller Inventory # RA-0MNW-DCA3
Book Description Duckworth, 1982. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition............ UK first impression of this uncommon Booker shortlisted novel. The book is VG with some bumps to top corners in VG unclipped jacket with some toning to egdes and a few spots visible from the inside. Duckworth 1982. Book. Seller Inventory # 2133272547
Book Description Duckworth, London, 1982. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. Hardcover with dust-jacket.Book has a spine lean.Some very mild page aging.Complete dust-jacket has some mild indentations to surface.Very mild sunning to top edge of wrapper.First impression.Not price-clipped and no foxing. Seller Inventory # 001133
Book Description Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd, London, 1982. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. First Edition / First Print. Hardback copy in dark blue boards with gold gilt lettering to spine. Unclipped dustjacket in new removable protective clear sleeve. 159pp. Not library copy, no inscriptions. (9/3). Seller Inventory # ABE-1518277202832
Book Description London; Duckworth;, 1982. First edition, first printing of author's fourth novel. Fine in fine dustjacket. Seller Inventory # 18932